HC Deb 03 June 1907 vol 175 cc282-3

To ask the Secretary of State for India whether, seeing that the land revenue of the Rawal Pindi district of the Punjab, which was increased from£27,500 in 1865 to£36,400 in 1885, has been further † See (4) Debates, clxx., 47. increased by a new settlement made in 1904 to£45,000, the tax on many of the holdings near the town being doubled, he will appoint a small committee of revenue officials from other provinces to inquire into the allegations of excessive enhancement, as was done in Bombay in 1877 after serious rioting by the tenant farmers.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Morley.) The Deccan Riots Commission, to which my hon. friend apparently refers, was appointed by the Bombay Government in 1876 on evidence of the existence of the serious indebtedness of the agricultural classes in certain districts to the money-lenders, and with a view to remedial legislation. This does not constitute a precedent for the action proposed; but, if the Government of India or the local Government consider that an inquiry is called for, they will no doubt propose a Commission. I understand that they are satisfied that the revision of the land settlement is justified by extensions of cultivation and rise in rents and prices since the last settlement, and that there has been no agitation among the agricultural classes of the district.